The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

More On Gender Roles

There are some (ok... "many") who believe gender roles are artificial, that they are "assigned" by society. That is, that society dictates (through many methods) what constitutes the "correct" behavior for any given gender. But what if its the other way around?

What if gender roles evolved from the reality of life?

Consider... Why are men considered to be the "protectors" of others, especially of the weaker members of society? Because they were, I believe. They were, on average, stronger than other members of primitive clans. Women and children and the aged could not effectively defend themselves against the dangers of around them. Someone had to. That fell to the strong among them.  Women could be stronger than some men but not all men. And women are unreliable as protectors because they are targets of aggression and get pregnant (which makes them even weaker against aggressors) at any time (not simply during a "mating season").

Why do I say they are "targets of aggression?" Having the ability to produce children, they have a value to the group. That this ability has the side effect of providing pleasure enhances their value. Groups raided other groups to capture what? Strong men? No, women who could then produce children for the group which took them. A group of people is no different than an individual; it wants to survive, it wants to grow in some way, it wants to have more than it has.  The simplest knowledge is that there is strength in numbers. The more people in your group, the less likely you will be attacked and the more likely you will be successful in your hunts (more hunters mean more game). It takes strength to hunt as well as skill and cleverness... especially at a time of primitive weapons. Women, being weaker (on average) and less reliable over time, sought to be valuable for more than child production. They needed to have value to the group and, so, they developed skills which would be valuable to the group. Meat brought back to the group by the hunters needed preparation and supplementation so they developed skills involving skinning and (eventually) cooking as well as gathering plants, nuts, fruits, and other foodstuffs which could be added to the diet of the group. Gender roles developed out of necessity and general ability.

At some point (early in human development), the process which produced pregnancy became apparent and the reality of child-bearing created a need for nurturing. A child abandoned dies. Too many children abandoned ensures the group shrinks, becomes weaker, and the group fails to survive. Women produced children and seemed to establish a bond with them. This makes them the natural (look at any animal) ones to protect them. Once it was realized what caused pregnancy, a hierarchy developed. Men wanted pleasure and the group wanted to increase its strength. Two ways this could be accomplished: through raids on weaker groups to increase the number of child producers (hence women become "targets") or through growth within. To ensure growth from within, the child producers need to be protected... against theft by other tribes and against harm from predatory animals.

As groups grow, these roles become more and more specialized. As groups grow, structure becomes more defined in order to maintain efficiency. Efficiency means survival. Survival is paramount to any living organism and a group is just a larger, more complex (seemingly) organism. Clans become tribes, tribes become societies, societies become cities, and then nations, and still they wish to grow, to expand because that means more strength and more strength means improved chance of survival.

But who created marriage? And Why?

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